IPL first preference: 10 out of 12 international stars pick IPL teams

New Delhi: A huge majority of players have declared their allegiances to IPL franchises over their respective countries` domestic sides ahead of the upcoming Champions League Twenty20, with Sri Lankan veteran Kumar Sangakkara being the only exception.

Ten out of the twelve international cricketers have chosen to play for the IPL franchises instead of their domestic sides competing in the USD 6 million event starting on September 21.

While Sangakkara will be turning out for Sri Lanka`s Kandurata Maroons instead of his IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad, players such as Mike Hussey, Dwayne Bravo and Shane Watson will be playing for the Indian clubs.

IPL-6 winners Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals will kick start the 2013 CLT20 with a Group A match in Jaipur on September 21 in a tournament which will witness the world`s 12 best domestic teams fighting it out for the coveted prize.

A total of 29 matches will be played.

Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals apart, Group A will comprise Highveld Lions (winner of South Africa`s domestic T20 competition), Perth Scorchers (KFC T20 Big Bash League runner-up), and a team from the Qualifier.

Group B will comprise Brisbane Heat (KFC T20 Big Bash League champion), Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies T20 champion), Chennai Super Kings (runner-up in the Pepsi IPL 2013), Titans (South Africa`s domestic T20 runners-up), and a team from the Qualifier.

The CLT20 2013 will follow a format similar to the two previous editions, with a group stage preceded by a qualifier.

The qualifier, to be played from September 17 to 20 will feature four teams: Q1 - Otago Volts (New Zealand`s HRV Cup champions), Q2 ? Sunrisers Hyderabad (Fourth-ranked team in the Pepsi IPL 2013), Q3 - Kandurata Maroons, the winner of Sri Lanka`s domestic T20 competition, and Q4 - Faisalabad Wolves (Pakistan`s domestic T20 Champions).

The teams will play each other once, with the top two advancing to the group stage.

The top team from Group A will play the second-ranked team from Group B in the first semi-final in Jaipur on October 4. The top team from Group B will play the second-ranked team from Group A in the second semifinal in Delhi on October 5. The winners of the semis will play in the final on October 6.

Explaining the process for deciding which teams these 12 players would represent, CLT20 Governing Council member and Director of Legal and Business Affairs, Dean Kino, said: "Players who were named by more than one team were asked to select which team they were going to play for. Teams were then allowed to replace any player that withdrew from their squad and elected to play for another side."

"CLT20 regulations state that when a player elects to play for their `away` team, that team must pay the `home` team $150,000 compensation per player. A `home` team is classified as a team from the country a player is eligible to represent in international cricket.


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